When Rockwall-Heath High School graduates Bradley Yarborough and Trevor Holland (class of 2010) began inviting a group of hometown friends to play regular games of golf, they didn’t expect it to become much more than that.
“You know, at first we just started playing together regularly and we were getting a lot of old friends together for games,” Yarborough said. “Some guys wanted to start putting money on games, but we thought that we could actually do something impactful in the meantime, so eventually we started getting some canned goods rolling.”
The pair decided that for their next planned day of golf, any participants would be required to bring canned food as the cost of admission. When nearly 20 players all brought three or four cans each to donate to Helping Hands, Holland says they realized that they could actually do some good as a group.
“After that, I started a GoFundMe campaign for our next big event, and we’ve pledged to donate all of the money raised to Helping Hands to provide school supplies for local kids,” Holland said. Since then, they’ve raised just under $2,400 in just seven days, and even got a local business, Juvanew Medspa, to agree to match the total donations.
Now, Holland and Yarborough are determined to keep the ball rolling and keep contributing to the community, and both say that they are motivated by needs in the community that can sometimes go unseen.
“One of our friends works for a title company and recently had to go to a house in Rockwall that was being repossessed,” Holland said. Upon entering, the friend found appalling conditions where, apparently, a child had also lived. “He said he went home and just cried. And I guarantee that, if those kids were living like that, they didn’t have good school supplies, or even enough food. A lot of people think Rockwall has all this money, and some people do, but there’s need here too.”
What’s next in store for the group of Rockwall natives isn’t set in stone, but Yarborough and Holland both agreed that they want it to involve golf, the shared interest that got their friends together in the first place, and they want to involve the community in their philanthropy as much as possible.
“We definitely want to keep doing golf regular tournaments as fundraisers, but we have some other ideas too,” Yarborough said. “We’d like to rent out Top Golf or a similar place soon to host a co-ed putt-putt tournament to keep raising money for Helping Hands.”
The last round of fundraising has already gone to Helping Hands for the school supplies, but Yarborough said they would definitely be interested in partnering with other local non-profits as well.
“We want everyone to get involved,” Yarborough said. “All we have to do now is decide on a name, and to get 501(c)(3) status.”
When Holland set up the GoFundMe page recently, before the group had really decided to make this a serious endeavor, he half-jokingly named it the “Bros for Charity Golf Amateur Tour.”
“If we’re really going to keep doing this, we’ve got to come up with something better than that,” Holland said. “Like Bradley said, we want everyone involved, and that excludes half of the entire population!”
The pair have some solid leads on a name, but nothing is solidified yet, so they asked that any earnest suggestions be sent their way. The (now ended) GoFundMe campaign can be found at gofundme.com/f/lets-get-these-kids-ready-for-school.